Does MCU Stand for ‘MacGuffin’ Cinematic Universe?

It almost sounds ridiculous to ask a fictional universe to play by the rules and inject a bit of realism into each story that it rolls out, but while nearly every fictional universe is guilty of this, the overuse of the well-known MacGuffin in the MCU is hard to ignore since the inclusion of the multiverse. There’s a good reason for this of course, as the idea that anyone can be brought back and anything can be retconned at this time is apparent thanks to time travel and the many different dimensions that exist within the scope of the MCU. But there are a few concerns that come with this, and fan reaction is only one of them, and not that big of an issue to be realistic. Some might want to roll their eyes and wonder who cares this much about the movies, but it’s almost a guarantee that those same individuals would rant and rave over their own favorite fictional story if it were changed somehow. But getting back to the MCU and the issues that aren’t catastrophic but noticeable, it’s enough to say that they’re a bit annoying, if not overly worrisome. 

Death has already been a less than stable force in Marvel comics since except for a few individuals, a lot of characters have been brought back, again and again, to reboot and revamp their comics and possibly give them a new image. Other methods had been used over the years as well since cloning became a big deal for a while, and then the multiverse became a huge draw since it could bring different versions of the same characters from different dimensions to inject them into universes where that same character might have died or disappeared. In other words, a giant mix and match game was created with the heroes and villains being the movable pieces that could affect different timelines and dimensions in different ways to create new and exciting stories. 

This isn’t exactly a huge problem since it had the desired effect for a while, at least until the newness of it wore off. The same is likely to be said of the MCU since teasing the multiverse in Spider-Man: Far From Home, was enough to get people interested, and Spider-Man: No Way Home was a great way of bringing it to life in a big way. But with the Doctor Strange sequel coming up it’s fair to say that the multiverse is going to fold over the MCU in several ways that will hopefully, if things go well, invite many more amazing and interesting stories for fans to experience. The pitfalls that the multiverse brings with it however include the temptation to bring back certain characters, whether they’re different because of the reality they come from, or the time. Even worse than this would be if former actors do finally decide to come back if Disney decided to meet their price and/or conditions. In any case, it would affirm that death means nothing in the MCU, much as it didn’t in Marvel. So far it doesn’t appear that such things are going to happen, which is great to see, but there’s always that sneaking suspicion that it could happen. 

One of the biggest hopes for the MCU is that things will continue to push forward with a little more realism that, once injected, will keep things on a slightly more even keel than has been seen in the comic books over the years. No matter what has been said about comic book movies, they’ve done a rather decent job of keeping things a little more realistic than people might give them credit for, and it’s fair to say that keeping certain characters dead and gone is strengthening their effect. But with the onset of the multiverse, it’s easy to wonder and even worry that the realism might be upended for the chance to push the idea that characters can return at any given time because of the MacGuffin that is the multiverse. Let’s clear the air here a bit since the multiverse is a cool idea and seeing the same characters being played by different actors might work, but it would kind of cheapen the sacrifices that have been made. 

This is a debate that a lot of people might not give a lot of thought to, but it does sound like something that some folks might be willing to pick up and discuss. Marvel comics have used so many different ways to bring back their favored characters for so many years that it’s easy to think that the MCU might try to do the same thing, provided they could make it work for the fans. But if they do this, then it’s bound to cut both ways if they’re not careful. 


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